Every once in awhile a couple of the guys in my department at work like to head out to Inka Grill in Lake Forest. The first time I went there I had a dish that was surprisingly good and surprisingly different! My next few trips, however, would be fixated on another dish. Inka Grill has several locations, but Lake Forest is the one I frequent from time to time. For those of you not familiar, Inka Grill primarily serves Peruvian cuisine.
The location in Lake Forest is a small place but cozy and friendly. It seats about 30 people or so and is always busy during lunch. I’ve never been there during dinner, but so far I have no doubt that it is equally busy.
On my first visit we were served bread and I was told to eat it with a green sauce that was in a squeeze bottle. I looked around and each table had this sauce. After a few squeezes, I dabbed my crusty white bread in it and tasted it. Whoa! My first thought, visually, is that it was some kind of cilantro sauce. It was that, kinda, but add some peppers to it and grind it up with olive oil and you have one spicy sauce! This stuff rocks! The green sauce also goes on anything they serve there.
The first dish I ever ordered was a Chicken Saltado. Now I was a bit apprehensive at first. My coworker told me it had french fries in it. That’s right, in it, not with it. A Saltado is chicken sauteed with red onions, french fries, tomatoes, cilantro, scallions and sauce. The sauce, to my surprise is soy sauce based. The dish was excellent, but the french fries really fill you up. You can opt to substitute the fries for a vegetable to be mixed in.
My next few visits would be for something that someone else had at the table on my first table. The dish? The Lamb Stew. It is served with rice and beans. This stew is now the only reason I go to Inka Grill! The lamb must simmer in the sauce with cilantro and onions for hours – it just falls off the bone. Mixing in the beans and rice into the sauce just enhances the experience.
I have also been to their other location in Costa Mesa, which is a larger location. I’m sorry I don’t have any pictures with this post. On my next visit for the Lamb Stew, I will take some! In the meantime, please go visit them. I don’t hand out a 4 all that often. But for a hole in the wall place in a dark shopping center, this was my shining star.
23600 Rockfield Blvd
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Fri & Sat 11:30am-9:30pm